Thomas Fawkes isn't ready to turn to stone.
Don't look at me. It's his own words. The Stone Plague has infected his eye and it's slowly working its way out.
Not to worry. He has only to pass his Color Test this evening--with the help of the mask his father promised to make him, just as every father in England does for his son. Once it's discovered he can command Grey (and please, please, please let it be Grey), he'll just command that plague to leave, and all will be right again.
Maybe then his father will care about him.
Except Father--Guy Fawkes himself--doesn't show up. Not a problem. Thomas will just track him down himself, get his mask, and get back on track. And maybe he'll set a few other things straight, too--like why his father hasn't even given him a letter all these years.
But when Thomas arrives in London, he finds he's a piece in something far bigger than he could have imagined--a plot to end the war between the Igniters and the Keepers. A plot to land a Keeper back on the throne where they belong.
But they wouldn't want to just do it in some easy way--a sniper from a distance, maybe poison, no.
They're going to blow up Parliament.
At last, at last! The day has arrived that I tell you about one of my new favorite books, Fawkes by Nadine Brandes!
First off. Thomas. A young man who just wants his father's approval, who so desperately wants to pass his Color Test and heal his eye, now trying to find confidence on his own on the London streets. Even in the worst of situations, his inner spunk never misses a beat. Easily the best character arc I've read this year. I liked him right away.
Next off, Thomas and Guy. The conflict was raw. I felt what Thomas felt. I understood Thomas' reasoning (whether or not I agreed with it). He's willing to do anything to get his father to look his way . . . even help plan the assassination of the king of England.
But as Thomas finds his way around London, he finds his way around what he's always believed and the views that clash with his. Not all the Igniters were good. Not all the Keepers were bad. Thomas had to dig to the roots of what he'd always been told . . . and readers will, too. In a world where young adults are pressured to take whatever the culture hands them, this book arrived just in time.
The allegory is powerful. God is not put in a box. However, in a most curious manner, God and Christianity are never mentioned in this book . . . but they are. God is referred to as the White Light--who helps save those who cannot save themselves, gives them power they cannot use or sustain on their own, and who guides them through the world they live in. Igniters believe they can have a relationship with White Light and He can help them navigate the other colors. Keepers believe White Light is only for the elite few, better left alone or in a box. And then there's a few who believe they don't need White Light at all--they can harness all the color powers themselves. It's a little mind-boggling, but creative--a fresh spin on it that I wouldn't have considered before.
Fawkes is not a book to rush head-long into. It's an explosive adventure that somehow still makes you stop and think--a rarity in young adult books. It has quickly made its way up my list of favorites, and is one of the first I will recommend to anyone.
Hi there! Rachel again. Check out this section for book reviews and cover reveals of some of my favorites!